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Mississippi lawmakers join anti-‘zapper’ fight

Summary

Devices falsify electronic records to circumvent state sales tax obligations

Newswire: Feb. 5, 2018

Dateline: Jackson, Miss.

Mississippi’s Department of Revenue is the latest to suspect it has a problem with record-falsifying “zappers,” and it has asked lawmakers for legislation outlawing use of the devices.

“Zappers” are usually a software program carried on a memory stick, or available through an Internet link, that alters electronic records so that merchants can get around paying sales tax. They are generally used on point-of-sale systems.

“Zappers” aren’t just an unethical practice in the retail space; a Chicago-area restaurateur was prosecuted last year for using a zapper to evade more than $100,000 worth of sales taxes. It was the first prosecution under the law Illinois passed in 2013.

Mississippi’s proposed law was passed unanimously by its state senate recently; the bill now moves to its state house of representatives. Under the bill, anyone using zappers could face a fine of up to $100,000 and five years in prison. One state senator was concerned, however, that the fine may be too low.

Read the full story here.

Front page image by Chuck Kelly via Wikipedia.

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